The American Dream is built on the concepts of liberty and upward mobility. If you buy that premise, would you prefer that the United States become more like California or more like Texas?

These two states are especially interesting because both have large immigrant populations which parallel projections for the future in the U.S.

Chuck DeVore is vice president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and so we can assume he's high on the Lone Star State, but he has a great blog on The Federalist explaining why Texas' policies have made it the better state for economic advancement and a better model for the future.

Texas and California both have a poverty rate higher than in the rest of the U.S., but California has the highest poverty rate in the nation, with 47 percent more people living in poverty than Texas, according to DeVore. DeVore writes:

Much of California’s nation-leading poverty rate is due to the high cost of housing in the Golden State, a significant portion of which is driven by hyper-controls on development, greenhouse gas fees, restrictive zoning, and taxes. It takes five years to get permission to build in California what commonly takes five months in Texas. If California is America’s future, then that future is overrun with poverty.  

As we look forward to the next generation, DeVore urges that , if we want a prosperous future for the country, we turn to Texas Dreamin' over California Dreamin's:

What’s remarkable (or not, depending on your worldview) about the huge disparity in poverty rates between California and Texas is that the states are diametrically opposed in their taxing, spending, and regulatory policies. California, featuring America’s highest marginal income-tax rate, ranks as the fourth-most taxed state in the nation, according to the Tax Foundation, while no-income-tax Texas came in at forty-seventh. In a broader survey of economic freedom that includes labor law and regulation, Canada’s Fraser Institute rated Texas and South Dakota as tied for first with California lagging far behind at forty-third, just ahead of New Jersey at forty-fourth.

In the time it will take for a child to be born, gain self-sufficiency, and start a family, America will become a majority-minority nation. Some politicians who size up this eventuality fear it and demagogue against demographics, while some pander to it, exchanging promises of government largess to buy allegiance. Neither path is worthy of our ideals. Neither path will lead to a prosperous America.

When developing policies and platforms to attract the support of America’s emerging majority, conservatives would do well to point to California as a cautionary tale while drawing inspiration from Texas—confidently and boldly asserting that freedom and hard work remain the main ingredients of the American Dream.

I can think of a great time when Republicans might want to talk about these very issues: 2016.